Cloud storage services do a good job with their security measures for the most part, but it’s unwise for someone to rely entirely on them to keep his files safe. Every system has holes, and while the best services plug as many holes as possible while minimizing the remaining threats, consumers need to stay informed and do what they can to guard their own information. This can involve making the right choices when picking a cloud storage provider or taking extra security measures within their home network, but it’s vital that someone who has important data in the cloud takes every precaution possible.
[Read also: Tips for Safely Using The Cloud]
Tip 1: Choose the Right Feature Set
While file encryption is standard when it comes to cloud storage services, not everyone provides the same amount of encryption, and not all services give the user as much control over things like file sharing privileges as he would like. Prominent cloud storage solutions allow users to designate files to be shared and files to keep hidden and additional users can be added or removed within the right-click menu. They also allow the primary user to set read and write privileges for each individual who has access to the files. These are features that should be considered the bare minimum; no service that fails to offer such basic things should be trusted with anyone’s files.
[Read also: How to Sync Files Between Two Computers]
Tip 2: Eliminate Viruses, Trojans and Keyloggers With Security Software
Cloud security is just like network security or computer security in general. If someone’s machine is compromise, every other account or application that he uses may be compromised in turn. It’s usually much easier to hack into a personal computer that’s connected to a cloud storage service than it is to hack into the cloud itself, and any hacker that gets access to such a machine can likely access everything within that computer’s network. Those using cloud storage need to make absolutely sure that their computers are not the weak link in the security chain because otherwise it won’t matter which service they use, they’re much more likely to be compromised.
[Read also: Is Hacking an Inside Job?]
Tip 3: Use Local or Automatic File Encryption
Some tools make it possible to render most files nearly unable to be hacked while they’re in transit between a local machine and the cloud. Using encryption also provides an extra layer of security in the event that a cloud service’s servers are compromised. It makes it so much of a hassle to acquire files that most hackers will give up and move onto easier targets. It’s a very simple process that requires a little extra time either prior to or while uploading files, but it’s time well spent.
The Security Trifecta
Cloud companies that take security seriously already provide the protection that most people will need. When that’s combined with air-tight security on a local machine and file encryption, only the most persistent and the most skilled of hackers have any chance of getting their paws on whatever is stored in the cloud. It’s a very simple process, and those who value their security should set aside an hour or two to ensure that their data is as safe as possible.